Is sugar harmful to the body?

Last updated on October 7, 2020


I have had people say that sugar is toxic to the body, even in moderation! Is this true?


The basic source of energy for the cells in your body is a simple sugar called glucose. When you eat, these sugars are broken out during digestion and then either used immediately by your body or stored as starch by your liver for later use. There are other types of sugars, such as fructose (from fruits) and lactose (from milk), which are converted into glucose that the body can use. To claim all sugar is toxic to the body is foolishness. You have sugars flowing in your blood to deliver energy to your cells. Diabetics have to monitor their insulin and blood sugar levels because their regulation mechanism doesn’t work properly.

Honey is a mixture of sugars but is mostly glucose and fructose. Table sugar is a compound made of glucose and fructose. “My son, eat honey, for it is good, yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste” (Proverbs 24:13). However, there is a problem with consuming too much sugar. “Have you found honey? Eat only what you need, that you not have it in excess and vomit it” (Proverbs 25:16) and also, “It is not good to eat much honey” (Proverbs 25:27).

If you look at diet advice, you will find that most suggest limiting the added sugars to no more than 5% of your calorie intake. So for a man that generally works out to 9 teaspoons or 25 grams of sugar. You would be consuming much more than that in total sugars because there are naturally occurring sugars in most of our foods. The restrictions are extra sugars added to make things taste good. To give you an idea a 12 ounce can of Coke or a Snickers candy bar would basically use up your added sugar allotment for a whole day. That is why it is generally recommended that people avoid “junk” food. But this is not to say it is harmful to have a snack or dessert once in a while.